ABOUT S.T.E.M. SPROUTS
Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, S.T.E.M. Sprouts welcomes neurodivergent students to participate in a wide variety of accessible S.T.E.M. based programs and activities. We strive to provide a fun exploration of S.T.E.M., all within a safe and fun atmosphere.
We aim to create and foster a space that reduces barriers to learning. Whether that be incorporating interests, allowing for sensory breaks, catering to individual learning styles or communication styles, and more! S.T.E.M. education should be accessible to all, especially for those whose learning styles may not align with the general education system.
Our mission is to provide accessible, strengths-based S.T.E.M. education for autistic youth.
Our passion lies in empowering our students and their families to cultivate meaningful relationships with their communities.
Our foundation is a combination of (1) research based + (2) practices learned from autistic consultation and listening to the autistic community.
Listening to Autistics
We believe that autistic individuals are the true experts, listening to their lived experiences allow us to do better for the students that we support!
HOW IT STARTED...
Danie was a research assistant in a S.T.E.M./robotics study in 2019. She realized S.T.E.M. education is an understudied area in autism research and there was a lack of S.T.E.M. based programs for autistic kids in British Columbia (B.C.). Danie integrated her research interest in S.T.E.M. education in her clinical practice with clients on the autism spectrum and/or ADHD, noticing the benefits they reaped!
Over the years, Olivia began the journey of unlearning + relearning practices from the neurodiversity movement, on how to best support her autistic clients . At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, while sharing telehelath resources/activities online, it resulted in her delving deeper into the online autistic community. Olivia resonated strongly with the values of the neurodiversity movement, leading her to make many changes to her practice and had many conversations with Danie.
They combined the need for accessible S.T.E.M. education + the need for neurodiversity affirming safe spaces for autistic youth.
Resulting in the creation of S.T.E.M. Sprouts!
Learn more about the process of creating S.T.E.M. Sprouts below, all of the important pieces that came together!
Focused on listening and learning from the autistic community. (Ongoing)
Learning and unlearning practices, to best support our autistic learners.
Took our time and put thought into each aspect of STEM Sprouts.
Officially started work on STEM Sprouts over a years before launching.
Developed competence around STEM instruction and education.
Created STEM activity plans that are universally designed for diverse learning styles.
Built a program and solidified core values.
Every decision made, was powered by the core values of STEM Sprouts
Hired an Autistic Consultant, helped shape what STEM Sprouts is today.
Consulted on neurodiversity affirming practices, accessibility, and more to best support autistic students.